Bridging the Hiring Manager-HR Gap


The point from which you work on a process or project makes a huge difference in the way that you experience that process or project. If you’re working on the factory floor, filling jars with peanut butter for 14 hours per day, you’re interacting with your employer’s product much differently than, say, someone in the marketing department or sales. Even though you’re working toward the success of the same product as the people in marketing, chances are that you (that guy or gal on the factory floor) have a wildly different history with and relationship to that product. While someone in marketing might get sick of writing dozens of drafts for a peanut butter jingle, they probably won’t get sick of the sights and smells of industrial peanut butter production. When you apply the same principal to hiring, it’s plain to see that the people at the ground floor of any business’s talent acquisition are the hiring managers. They’re the ones who actually spend face time with candidates, as opposed to people in HR, who, like the marketer in our peanut butter example, deal with the bigger picture.  This being the case, it’s no wonder that hiring managers experience the hiring process much differently than the people who oversee that hiring in Human Resources.

People in Human Resources aren’t often directly involved in the nitty gritty of making a hire, there’s a lot of potential for these people to be unaware of much of the work that goes into making a quality hire. Because of the logistics that go into staffing for a large company, the HR department in many organizations becomes insulated from the actual interviewing and hiring conditions that are taking place. When asked “If your hiring process is difficult or painful?” this is how hiring managers and HR responded:

As you can see, there is a huge discrepancy between how HR views hiring and how Hiring Managers view it. Across the board, a large percentage of hiring managers view hiring as something painful and only a handful of people in HR are on the same page. This perception gap  gets more pronounced as the size of the company increases, with 30% of hiring managers at companies of 10,000+ employees believing that the process is painful and just under 5% of HR in agreement.

“But what about the rest of hiring managers,” you might be asking “doesn’t anybody think that hiring is less than painful?” Well, here’s a graph to give you a more complete picture of hiring manager and HR opinions on this subject:

Though about half of the respondents agreed that the hiring process is “manageable,” that’s where the similarities end. While 40% of hiring managers said that the hiring process was “difficult” or “painful,” only 15% of people in HR agreed.

Clearly, there is a discrepancy between how easy HR believes hiring to be and how easy it actually is. For all you HR folks out there, don’t assume that everything is going smoothly just because hires are continuing to be made. Ask your hiring managers if there’s anything that can be improved upon. Chances are that you’ll get some great insight into both the intricacies of your hiring process and the operational problems that have your managers chomping at the bit.


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